How to Apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa (Cebu City, Philippines)

After our trip to London, my boyfriend and I will be going to the Netherlands, France and Italy. A Schengen Tourist Visa is needed for Filipinos intending to visit countries within the Schengen Area. I applied for my boyfriend’s tourist visa at the Italian embassy through VIA Center Cebu because it was too much of a hassle to go to Manila.

To be able to know which embassy you should apply in, here are a few things that I’ve learned through reading other blogs and websites and from asking VIA Center:

  1. If the traveller will go to just one Schengen country, he must apply at the embassy of the country that he will be visiting.
  2. If the traveller will go to two or more Schengen countries, he must apply at the embassy of the country wherein he will stay the longest during the trip.
  3. If the traveller will stay equal days in each Schengen country, he must apply at the embassy of the country which he will first enter.

Since VIA Center here in Cebu only accommodates applications to the Italian embassy, we decided that we’ll just stay in Italy longer than in the Netherlands and France. The application was a little more complicated than the UK Tourist Visa but it was way easier still than applying for a US Tourist Visa. My boyfriend submitted his application on April 27, 2016.

Scheduling your appointment

You may begin your application by scheduling your appointment. I called Via Center Cebu’s landline number but they told me to schedule my appointment through the following hotline numbers: (Php 32 per minute)

PLDT & Smart – 1-909-101-2200

Bayantel – 1-903-2200

Globe – 1-900-101-2200

You may schedule your appointment from Mondays to Fridays, 8am until 6pm except holidays. You may also choose not to schedule an appointment and do a walk in. Walk-ins will only be accommodated from 1pm-3pm depending on the availability of slots.

Click here for the Schengen Visa Document Checklist. It’s quite a long list so make sure to prepare all the documents in the list that is relevant to you ahead of time.

Some tips from my experience:

  1. We did not book an appointment ahead of time. I was a little busy and did not know when I can gather all the documents so we just did a walk in. We waited for I think an hour to be accommodated. From what I can remember, they only accept walk-ins from 1pm until 3pm. But there may be times when walk-ins will not be accommodated because some of the applicants in the morning might come back in the afternoon to submit their complete documents. You may or may not book ahead of time.
  2. I had a few mistakes with my hotel reservation and cover letter but VIA Center Cebu had a computer (free to use) and a printer (for a fee) that I was able to use to reprint the files there so it was pretty convenient.
  3. We got our Travel Insurance from Blue Cross. It covered our 30-day stay in the UK and the Schengen area plus 15 days after our trip. We paid Php 3,532 or 65 Euros per person for our insurance. You will need to bring this along with you on the trip as well.
  4. Sample Travel Itinerary – ITINERARY
  5. Sample Introductory Letter – Introductory Letter + Checklist
  6. We paid Php 3,125 for the Visa fee and Php 1,100 for VIA’s services.
  7. My boyfriend’s passport was mailed through 2GO and we received his visa 15 working days after we submitted his application.

VIA Center Cebu is located at 1004 Keppel Bldg, Cardinal Rosales Ave. cor. Samar Loop, Cebu City. You may call them for brief inquiries at (032) 232-7233.

As with any other tourist visa application, applying for the Schengen Tourist Visa will require compiling a lot of documents and spending a lot of time booking for flights and tickets and creating an itinerary but nothing was too hard or too complicated for travel junkies like us. We can’t wait for our next adventure!!! ;))


January 2016, @Twin Peaks San Francisco


45 thoughts on “How to Apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa (Cebu City, Philippines)

  1. hi
    thank goodness i found your blog it’s such a huge help. now i have a guide as i am in the process of applying a tourist visa for my parents and lucky they wont have to fly to manila for that. by the way would they really require the flight and hotel bookings during the appointment or just an itinerary will do?

    looking forward to your reply.



    • Hi Joanna,

      So happy that I could be of help!
      And yes, you need to submit both flight and hotel bookings.

      For the hotels, I just booked hotels that are cancelable at You can cancel the bookings anytime at no cost.
      For the plane tickets, we booked our tickets ahead of time and just crossed our fingers that the visa will be approved. You may also just buy plane tickets that are cancelable. But I read somewhere that you can book a ticket and get a flight itinerary and a reservation code without paying for the ticket. But it’s for a fee. I read it here –

      Good luck on your parents’ visa application!
      Thanks for reading my blog! 🙂


      • Hi Christine,

        Thank you so much sa reply and for the tip on booking flights for a fee.
        I’ll check this out.
        Sorry ngayon lang ulit ako nkavisit sa blog mo mejo na busy sa work.


    • Hi Christine😊

      I just want to ask regarding for applying VIA cebu walk in. Once you submit the documents it will only take 15days to get a visa? May nabasa kasi akong blog na it takes 3months daw before you can get an appointment. Im planning to go to italy in December pero ung passport ko marerelease siguro by the end of October. Makakahabol kaya un sa desire date ko pag punta ng italy? I hope you can answer my question. 😭

      Have a nice day Christine, thanks in advance 😊


      • Hi Summer,

        Yes, it only took around 15 working days for us to receive our visa. I’m not sure about how long it takes for you to get an appointment but I think it would be better if you call VIA ahead of time and ask how long it will take. As far as I can remember, appointments can be booked within a few days of reserving your slot. But I’m not entirely sure.

        If you can submit your application on the first week of November, I think you’ll receive your visa by the last week of Nov but again it still depends on the current processing time of the Italian Embassy. Hopefully this helps! 🙂


    • Hi Christine😊

      I just want to ask about sa requirements mag apply..pwede po ba ako tumawag sa embassy para mag tanong ng requirements? Kc ung brother in law ko na american ung mag iinvite sakin sa italy..sya din ung gagastos. I’m not sure kc kung anu ba ang mga papers na dapat nya ipadala sakin..aside sa invitation letter. I hope you can answer my question..thank you in advance 😁


      • Hi, you may just call VIA center to inquire. Note sure if you can call the embassy but you can try.

        I think you will need documents to prove that the person who will pay for your trip has the capacity to pay so maybe you’ll need to submit his ITR and/or bank certificate. 🙂

        But better to call VIA center just to be sure.


  2. Hi kristine ,

    Buti nalang nakita kutong blog mo, thanks god mag aply sana ako nang visa na tourist sa italy at gusto by May, kaso nakita ko sa requirements need dollars account atleast 6 months ba un eh ako lang ata ang seawoman na hindi nag oopen nang dollars account paanu yon baba ako pa pinas sa march
    Magbubukas ako nang dollars okay lng ba yon? Makakahabol ba ako sa May? Panu pala pag ang friend ko ang mag shoulder nang expenses ko doon anu ang kailangan ipakita niya? Okay lang naman saakin ang peso account e show kaso baka ma stugi ako sa dollar..
    pls advice..
    thank you 😁


    • Hi Jojara,

      Hindi po kailangan ng dollar account. Okay lang po peso account basta po yung Bank Statement na isusubmit nyo ay yung Six Months na Account history. I think alam na din ng bank yan if sabihin mo sa kanila na mag rerequest ka ng Bank Certificate and Bank Statement for the Italian embassy.

      Aabot pa po kayo kasi 15 days lang yung processing ng visa nung time na nag apply kami 🙂

      Good luck po! Enjoy Italy 🙂


      • Hi Ms. Christine,

        Salamat sa blog may guide na din ako. plan din kasi namin mg visit sa europe. Tanong ko lang po sana if how much dapat ang pera na nsa bank account mo? I mean yong mama ko kasi nasa Pinas at dito ako sa Qatar, so don na kami mgkikita sa europe. magkano kaya dapat ang nasa bank ng mama ko para di mgkakaproblem sa pag.apply nya ng visa.. sa February 2018 sana plan namin mag tour.

        Please pa advice po.

        Maraming Salamat! God bless


      • Hi Fergie,

        We actually made sure that we had a big amount when we applied but I searched about it online and depende yung amount kung ilang days kayo sa Europe. Maybe just budget €150 per day tapos put extra at least 6 months before because they will ask for the 6-month bank statment 🙂

        So I think if you’re staying for 10 days, €1500 plus another €1500 siguro to be sure na makita ng consul na you have enough money in the bank 🙂

        Christine 🙂


  3. Hi Christine!

    I’m so glad I came across your entry. I’m thinking of applying for a Schengen visa through the Italian embassy as I’m also from Cebu (and do not want to fly to Manila haha). I was just wondering if the travel dates you stated in your itinerary were also the exact period of time the Schengen visa was valid for…?

    I do hope to hear from you soon! Thank you so much 🙂



    • Hi Paolo,

      Thanks for dropping by my blog!

      Our itinerary in the visa application was from June 26th-July 12th and the Schengen visa that they granted us was from June 26th until July 30th.

      Hope my answer helps! Enjoy Italy! 🙂


  4. Hi Ms. Christine,

    Salamat sa blog may guide na din ako. plan din kasi namin mg visit sa europe. Tanong ko lang po sana if how much dapat ang pera na nsa bank account mo? I mean yong mama ko kasi nasa Pinas at dito ako sa Qatar, so don na kami mgkikita sa europe. magkano kaya dapat ang nasa bank ng mama ko para di mgkakaproblem sa pag.apply nya ng visa.. sa February 2018 sana plan namin mag tour.

    Please pa advice po.

    Maraming Salamat! God bless


  5. Hi Ms.Christine,

    salamat s blog may guide na din ako ,..plan ng boyfriend invite me s lugar nila ang tanong ko po ..pwede ba mag apply sa itallian emabssy my boy from germay ..german citizen at doon din xa ng work …hassle na po punta p me ng manila …

    please i need my advice po

    thank you po


    • Hi Rose,

      I think pwede naman po basta po mas matagal kayo magsstay sa Italy. Pero if sa Germany lang po kayo pupunta, kailangan po siguro sa German Embassy mag apply para sure po.

      I searched online and meron din po German Consulate sa Fords Inn Cebu baka you can call them and ask.

      Thanks 🙂


  6. Good day po Ms. Christine,
    I would like to ask regarding for the walk-in application in VIA Cebu.
    1. Once you submit the requirements, will they schedule you for an interview sa consul or hindi na kapag ok naman mga supporting documents mo? medyo kinakabahan ako sa interview : (

    2. Regarding for travel insurance, hindi mo na talaga mababawi kapag na deny yung visa mo?

    I found your blog today and it’s very detailed and a big help! I’m planning to attend a wedding of my cousin in Italy. Thank you for making this blog. More Power Miss Christine


    • Hi Juan,

      Wow thanks for reading my blog! 🙂 Here are my answers to your questions:

      1. Wala na pong interview. Enough na po yung sinubmit mo na documents that’s why much better kung complete yung documents mo and maexplain mo yung purpose of visit and kung pano mo masupport yung trip mo sa introductory letter.

      2. Not sure po pero we got ours and paid for it already so hindi na mababawi pag madeny. Just think positive nalang, I’m sure your visa will get approved. 🙂


  7. Good day!

    I just want to know if I can apply schengen visa for Spain in Cebu center just for a tourist visa. Hope you can answer me.

    Thank you.


  8. Good day!

    Hi Chrisrine,
    Thank you that I found your blog.
    I just want to know if I can apply schengen visa for Spain as a tourist in Cebu center. If possible, I prefer in Cebu than Manila. One of my friend will invite me. Hope you can answer me.



    • Hi Novelyn, I’m not entirely sure if you can apply Schengen Visa for Spain in Cebu. I’m not affiliated with this company but I found this online – Maybe they can help you lodge your application in Manila without you going there, but again I’m not entirely sure. You may also contact the Spain Consulate in Cebu and ask if they do visa processing. Hopefully this helps. Thanks for visiting my blog!


  9. Hi Ms. Christine!
    Thankyou so much for making this blog. Its really helpful. May natong lang po ako. Sa VIA Center po ba sa cebu sa inaaplyan mo ng Visa ay strict?. I mean may Interview pa ba po bang makakaganap if ever mag apply ka ng Tourist Visa for Italy po? Kasi yung bf ko po kasi at parents niya pinapapunanta ako dun sa lugar nila. At sila mag sponspor. Sa tingin niyo po maaproved ba yung visa ko kung sakali mag apply po ako? May interview po ba magaganap? Kinakabahan kasi ako baka madeny yung visa . Thankyou po!!


    • Hi Princess,

      Hindi naman po sila strict. They were actually quite helpful. They’re not the embassy so they are there to make sure that your application is complete before they submit it to the actual embassy. And wala pong interview. They just make you write a complete cover letter explaining the reason of your trip and your background.

      I’m sure makakakuha po kayo ng visa as long as you have a reason to come back and your documents are complete.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂


  10. Hi Miss Christine, I read thru the entire blog including the Q&A-like section :p and Im glad I came across them, such a massive help!

    My sister who happens to be a EU citizen now and her Italian husband plan to take me to Italy. #1. Does that consider as petition or what actions/processes to take on as they will carry all the expenses.

    I notice, theres a lot of requirement to secure, #2. do you know if theres an agent who can work on some of the process on my behalf?

    Thanks a lot 🙂


    • Sorry for the delayed reply! I must have missed your comment. I don’t know someone who can process your visa on your befalf but you may try inquiring at travel agencies in malls.

      Also, you can have your sister and her husband be your guarantor. I think you can submit their bank statements instead of yours if you will name them as the one who will sponsor your trip. Good luck on your application! 🙂


  11. Only positive comments here lucky for those who approved their visa
    So sad for us. My parent’s visa application was refuse they only attend my wedding here in Italy I feel so badly and besides they are senior citizen. We comply all the requirements . I don’t think my parent’s will not coming back in the Philippines ..?my father has a job. If there’s no sufficient account. I am a daughter who support them when they arrive here in Italy..I was just feel so badly..leggi in Philippine… non ho capito nulla!
    They don’t give value our effort and expenses!


    • Hi Julie,

      Sorry about what happened! I think you can appeal to the embassy and ask why their visa was not granted. Maybe you can submit more supporting documents to prove that they will really be coming back to the Philippines and hopefully they will reconsider.

      I have actually heard that the Italian Embassy is more strict than the France Embassy but I’m not 100% sure, it was just based on my friend’s experience.



      • Thank you christine….it’s hard for me to support my parent’s because I’m here in Italy…I want them to apply in cebu because it’s nearer in their place and besides their so approachable I applied once before when I was single so sad it’s deny too….you know what I really don’t understand the Italian embassy manila was too strict to Filipinos while other nationalities came accross to our country it was free visa….?when you arrive in Italy there’s a lot of immigrants specially from Nigeria..Africa Morocco etc ..and some of them a beggar…..but the government of italy support their food and accommodation. …
        They think when some Filipinos arrived in Italy it’s easy to find a job?absolutely not…I’ve been applying many agency’s but they don’t accept because I can’t speak fluently Italian….I’m frecking crazy to learn their language……I hope italian embassy consider some applicants to enter Italy specially they have their valid reason…really really badly for this experience. ..and besides when we got work here we pay also taxes…
        Thank you Christine I was just sharing my experience. …because now a days it’s not easy to earn money just to be waste…
        And for those who applied tourist visa be sure you have thousands of money of your bank account then do not expense until you will not received your visa….


  12. Hello Christine,
    Glad found your blog. I have a problem kase for my parents, gusto ko kase treat sila sa italy at ako ang bahala sa gastos nila lahat kc ofw naman ako. Problema ko lang wala ako ibang documents na magpatunay na babalik talaga cla. Pero babalik naman talga sila. wala kc documents kc senior citizen na cla wala na din work at mga negosyo nila na transfer na lahat sa pangalan namin. any suggestion ano kaya ibang documents na patunay na babalik talaga sila?
    Thank you!


    • Hi Nopoy,

      I think attaching a photocopy of the properties that they own would help. This proves that they have a house/property to go home to. Another would be to write a cover letter and explain the situation of your parents, let the embassy know that your parents used to own the businesses and just transferred the name to you when they retired.

      Do they have a lot of stamps in their passports? You can also use this as proof that your parents love to travel, they have already been to a lot of countries and they want to visit Europe this time.

      I will let you know if I can think of other supporting documents but right now that is all I can think of. Good luck on your application! 🙂


      • Yes my mom was in europe last 2006. Maybe her other passports can help. Madami na din stamps sa passports nila. I want to attach also a picture of my family in different countries that we traveled together but i have one brother na TNT sa spain baka hanapin nila ngayon bakit d nakasama.At d ko rin dapat sabihin na may mga pinsan ako sa germany kc baka mas strict ung embassy pag may kakilala don. Sa bank accounts naman ng parents ko hindi naman bababa sa 100k . Kaya gawa din ako ng letter of support na ako nagbabayad lahat ng tickets nila at hotel. please let me know kung may iba ka alam na supporting documents ng senior citizen. at hindi pa rin ba guarantee ung approval kahit kasama family at kahit comepleto ung documents namin?


      • I think if she has already gone to Europe, it will be easier for her to get a visa this time around. And madami na din siyang stamps so it just proves that she likes to travel and will only be traveling to Europe for tourism purposes. And attaching photos of your previous trips I think would help too. 🙂

        I just heard from a friend na nadeny siya kahit complete yung docs nya pero iba din kasi situation nya. Depende talaga sa embassy no guarantee na maapprove ka but you can always appeal or give additional supporting documents to further prove that your parents won’t overstay in Europe.

        Good luck! 🙂


      • Thank you very much. 🙂

        On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 8:22 AM, The Adventures of Ting Ting wrote:

        > Nipoy commented: “Great! Salamat po sa mga advices. Sana po ma approve > kami..” >


  13. Pwed po ba mag submit ng affidavit of support para sa girlfriend or fiancee? para pod sa italian visa. Support ko kc gf ko na ako ang mag babayad ng hotels nya at paid ko na lahat mga airline tickets nya


    • Hi Dea,

      Depende man unsa na country imo applyan.. hehe Walay embassy diri pero naa ray VFS or VIA center na agency sa Keppel Center sa Ayala pero depende sad jud aha na country ka muapply. 🙂 Didto ka muapply sa country kung aha ka pinakadugay magstay..


  14. Hello Ms. Christine,
    Thank you for your blog it can greatly help as our reference.
    Pero Ms. yung tungkol sa bank statement dapat talaga mayroon ako kasi yung lahat mag shoulder nang gastos sa akin ay yung friend ng mother ko. Pwede po bang sa kanya nalang or dapat mag pa open account talaga ako. Thank you. Hope to hear from you soon.


    • Hi Lyn,

      I’m not entirely sure because we applied without a guarantor. Maybe you can try calling or inquiring at VIA center just to be sure. I’m so sorry that I could not answer your question but if your mother’s friend will shoulder the expenses, you will need to prove your relationship so convince the embassy that you’re really just going to Europe for tourism purposes.



  15. Salamat naman at approved lahat nag visa namin! 8 days lang received na namin ung passports namin! Nag apply kami sa VIA sa cebu. Mabait naman cla lahat.

    Share ko lang din ung mga docs pina submit sa amin na wala sa requirements nila, dapat yung bank statement 1 year, 6 mos ung submit namin kaya nag add nalng kami ng 6mos sa bank statement. Yung travel insurance, sa Malayan Insurance kami kumuha madali lang mag purchase online, dapat plus 15 pag sa Italy punta.


    • Hi Nipoy. Great job! Im applying for a VISA to Italy in Cebu din. What other requirements did you submit to get your VISA approved? thanks


  16. Hi Ms. Christine,
    I have a sister in Italy with her Italian husband. Im planning to visit there and would it help if hes going to be my sponsor for my trip? Well, not necessarily he will shoulder/cover my expenses coz Ill make sure Ill have enough savings with me and can afford my trip but I just want to try for me to get a better chance of getting my visa approved. If it would, what should be his requirements for it? Thanks.

    PS: I cant have my sister involved coz shes currently jobless at the moment.


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